Title: Investigating the use of Natural Hollow Milkweed Fibers to Improve Functional Properties of Epoxy Resin
Authors: Simon Sanchez-Diaz, Carl Ouellet, Saïd Elkoun, Mathieu Robert
Abstract: Commodity polyepoxydes thermoset polymers show a high enhancement of its stiffness when reinforced with synthetic fibers, such as glass fibers, and are, nowadays, widely used in industrial scale. Moreover, ultralight and hydrophobic hollow milkweed floss is a natural fiber that can be efficiently used as polymer reinforcement in lieu of typical synthetic fibers requiring high energy demand for their production. Native and acetone-treated milkweed floss, a natural hollow fiber, was employed as a reinforcing agent in epoxy resin, with the aim of developing sustainable and lightweight polymer composites with enhanced mechanical and thermal insulating properties. The properties of the composites and the epoxy matrix alone were analyzed to compare their density, porosity, thermal conductivity, and thermal and stiffness. The composite filled with native milkweed was 7.4% lighter and 9.6% stiffer in tension than the epoxy matrix alone. In comparison, the composite with acetone-treated milkweed was 10.3% lighter and 20.1% stiffer in tension than epoxy. Likewise, the composite with native milkweed and the composite with acetone-treated milkweed had a thermal conductivity lower in 7.8% and 15.6% against the thermal conductivity of epoxy, respectively. The results of this study evidenced the advantages of using milkweed floss as a reinforcement to lower the weight and to improve the insulation and stiffness of polymer composites.
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Conference: CAMX 2022
Publication Date: 2022/10/17
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